Site map

What's a site map and why is it important?

Site maps are like a roadmap for search engines when they crawl and index your website. Without a site map, search engines may miss pages. Site maps are an essential piece of any search engine optimization effort.

Site maps also provide a simple navigation for users using assistive technologies. By providing links to every page on a website, sitemaps do the following for disabled users:

  • Present a concise overview of your entire site;
  • Assist with understanding site content and organization, much like a table of contents;
  • Act as an alternative navigation to potentially complex navigation structures existing on a live site.

Details

The site map is a permanent part of the Web CMS Service suite, serving to address the issues described above.  Using the site map is a two step process; first, include the metadata, and then second, configure and publish out your site.

Include your Metadata

To get the most out of your site map's capabilities and for best practice in search engine optimization, we recommend adding a synopsis of the page's content into the Metadata's Description field.

  1. Select the page you wish to work on. Click the Edit tab.
  2. The Inline Metadata area contains the Description field. Enter in a brief summation of the page's content. When you're finished, click the Submit button to save.
    Location of the Description field where the metadata information should be entered for use by the site map and SEO purposes.

Set-up your _Site configuration file -- if necessary

Two site map style options are available from the _Site configuration file:

  1. Default - Dedicated Site Map Page: When the link at the bottom of a page is clicked it brings the visitor to a page reserved for site map information. This page is automatically part of your site and you do not have to create your own. No changes in the _Site configuration file are necessary. The site map is already present and active in your site. All you need to do is publish your entire site out so that all pages will display this style choice.
    Setting to use in the Site configuration file for the dedicated site map page.
  2. Roll-out - Visible Roll-out from Page Bottom: When the site map link at the bottom of the page is clicked, the site map rolls out from the bottom of the page and does not redirect the visitor to a new location like the default option described above. This option requires a manager to Edit the _Site Configuration's Site map region by checking the box, Submitting to save, and then republishing out the entire site.
    Setting to use in the Site configuration file for the site map roll-out feature.

Notes on Site map behavior

Because of the way Cascade works and how our Metafile works, the folder links inside of the Site map will not work, giving the impression that they're broken. This is not the case. When published, these folder links will work as normal.

Notes on Publishing

Once the initial publish of the entire site has been completed, new pages or modifications to existing pages can follow this process:

  • Create the new metadata for a new page, or modify the metadata for an existing page.
  • Publish the new/modified page AND the sitemap page in your site.

This simplifies the update process and records the change with the sitemap and its programming so all pages in the site will reflect the change or update when the site map link is clicked.